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Proposed Bill Would Cover California Day Laborers Under Workers’ Compensation

Last year, a legislative bill intended to expand the parameters of the state’s workers’ compensation benefits and the CA Labor Code § 3352, passed. Even better, an amendment was added to include certain short-term or one-time laborers under coverage. Better yet, an employee’s immigration status does not affect his or her eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Let’s take a closer look at what this means for contractual workers.

The New Bill

Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher representing Chula Vista introduced A.B. 206 in January 2017. It was amended just last month to include coverage for “person, including a day laborer, employed by the owner or occupant of a residential dwelling whose duties are incidental to the ownership, maintenance, or use of the dwelling, including the care and supervision of children, or whose duties are personal and not in the course of the trade, business, profession, or occupation of the owner or occupant.” Two exclusions were added to the amendment, stating “(A) (1) The employment was, or was contracted to be, for less than 52 hours. (B) (2) The employment was, or was contracted to be, for wages of not more than one hundred dollars ($100).”

What Constitutes a Short-Term Laborer?

Under the amendment, a day laborer is defined as “a person who is directly hired by the homeowner or occupant on a one-time basis, to perform general maintenance, repairs, upgrades, gardening, or landscaping, and who does not have a valid business license or contractor’s license, or is not required to have those licenses for the work performed.”

If the employee does not meet these requirements, they may not claim coverage under the homeowner. However, they may be able to sue their employer in court for damages if the injury occurred due to negligence on the employer’s part.

Representing All California Workers

This new piece of legislation is a positive step forward in workplace equality, and we are pleased with this progress. That said, if you encounter problems collecting benefits for a work-related injury, contact Accident Recovery Legal Center today at 1-888-931-WORK (9675) to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Salinas or San Jose workers’ compensation attorney.